Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz have announced $15.6 million to expand cybersecurity and IT training in Florida at both the K-12 and higher education levels.

The funding is made possible through a joint effort of the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity “to inspire and prepare more students to pursue fulfilling and lucrative careers in cybersecurity/information technology while helping address a national skills shortage in these areas.” 

The departments selected 24 projects that are expected to train 27,000 Florida students over the next year.

“We will continue to invest in ensuring Florida’s high schools and colleges offer programs that allow students to immediately enter the workforce with the ability to secure high-paying jobs,” said DeSantis. “This funding will not only advance the educational opportunities for Florida students seeking employment in this critical field but will also create a safer and more stable cyberspace for our future generations.” 

According to the press release, the initiative looks to shift K-12 and postsecondary course offerings to phase out “low-demand, low-wage courses” and introduce more “high-demand, high-wage courses and stackable credentials and pathways” to best align with workforce demands.

“In Florida, Governor DeSantis has prioritized cybersecurity, providing resources to our institutions to meet the demand of cybersecurity professionals,” Diaz said. “Raising awareness and interest in cybersecurity at the K-12 and postsecondary levels is crucial to meet the needs of businesses across Florida and create pathways for students to gain employment with a sustainable salary right after high school.”

The full list of awards can be found here.

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